Keukenhof Gardens

If you’re visiting the Netherlands in the spring, then you must visit the world’s largest flower gardens; the Keukenhof.
KeukenhofIt’s close to Amsterdam in a town called Lisse but is only open for a few weeks each year. In 2017 it will open between the 23rd March and 21st May. Of course it is very popular with tourists from all over the world.
tourists keukenhofWe decided to visit on a Monday (in spring, I’m writing this a few months later…) – hoping that the busiest times would have been on the weekends. There are different ticket options for the gardens; if you have transport, you only need to pay 16 EUR entrance.
KeukenhofIf you need transport, then you can buy a combi ticket from Schiphol airport or from Leiden which includes the bus and entrance for 24 EUR.
KeukenhofAs we were staying in Utrecht, we found the best option was the triple combi; train, bus and entrance ticket for 35 EUR, available from this website, which I later discovered was for Dutch bank cards only, or from www.discoverholland.com which allows international cards for 37 EUR.
Keukenhof ticketsWe printed our tickets at the hotel, and took the train back to Schiphol. The Keukenhof bus leaves from “arrivals 4” next to Starbucks. We hadn’t rushed so when we got there we found the longest queue ever, where they were squeezing as many people into each bus as possible.
KeukenhofThe queue moved quickly, and we made sure we got seats for the 30 minute journey looking out the window at all of the tulip fields.
_mg_8531The bus dropped us right at the gates and we started walking through the crowds.
tourists keukenhofThere were people everywhere but you could still look at everything you wanted and take nice photos.
KeukenhofApart from flowers, there were a lot of exhibition halls with various displays. Anyone who follows me on snapchat knows how fond I am of denim. Especially when it’s in double form.
denim plant potsBut I did like this wedding dress.
Flower wedding dressThere were food stalls, and cafes selling mini Dutch pancakes, poffertjes, which we of course, had to try.
poffertjespoffertjesBut the main attraction really is the flowers. So, so many. And really quite amazing designs.
KeukenhofKeukenhofKeukenhofIf you want to recreate a mini Keukenhof at home, you can even visit the shop and order your favourite bulbs to be sent out to you in the autumn. I don’t have a garden so I filled in the form while the big decisions were being made.
KeukenhofOnce we had finished looking around all of the flowers, which I don’t even know if we did, you can hire a bike from the car park and bike around the flower fields.
KeukenhofIt’s best to have a practise before, if you haven’t ridden a bike for a little while.
KeukenhofThere were various routes to choose from but by the time we were ready it had turned quite cold and wanted to rain so we just biked the shortest route.
KeukenhofIt was actually freezing once we got going, so it would definitely have been more enjoyable in the sunshine and to have done the longer route, as we basically biked around the edge of the Keukenhof.
KeukenhofHowever, it was amazing to see the fields; rows and rows of tulips in different colours.
KeukenhofAnd to try out the Dutch bike lanes which made it so easy and safe to bike along the road as you never have to worry about the traffic.
KeukenhofSo even for somebody younger than 60+ (seemed to be the average age), who doesn’t have a garden, nor a particularly strong love of flowers, I had an amazing time and would recommend it to everybody.
KeukenhofOne of my business students thought it was hilarious that I’d gone to Amsterdam with my mum to look at flowers, when he had a slightly different kind of trip the following week. Each to their own…

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